what was that? is that all there is? who is this? this is it.

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inside looking outside looking in

May 1, 2020

In 1996 the psychology department at UW was seeking human subjects for a study on the effects that the consumption of alcohol has on decision making. They placed an ad in the Stranger to round up a herd of subjects.  I responded to the ad and took part in the study. It paid $15 or $20 or something like that and took about 22 minutes. They asked a series of questions and then gave you a “drink” and then asked another series of questions. Some subjects were given actual gin & tonics with lime some were given just tonic and lime. It also involved a confederate staged in the waiting area who voiced a scripted opinion or two and their comments were weighted along with your responses. It was all kind of cheesy and stilted and overly complicated and too academically roundabout at getting to the point. If the study was designed by grad students they left the ground work to undergrads. It was pretty bush league. More reliable results could be recorded sitting in a real bar with real drinks and real people. But that shit doesn’t fly in academia. 


That little study took place in the Brooklyn Trail Building near the main UW campus. A select few now refer to it as The Center for Child and Family Well-Being. You might know it better as 3903 Brooklyn Ave NE. I know it as 5665 as in box #355665. It's the building I was standing in yesterday for this photo inside looking outside looking in. 


In 2020 I visit the psychology department every day and the Brooklyn Trail Building quite often. 


Where were you in 1996? 


Is it raining? 


Add Comment

Steve Young said...

I wonder if you got the real booze or virgin. In 1996 I was living and working in Zion national park, selling massive amounts of ganja and shrooms.

Posted May 1, 2020 12:03 PM | Reply to this comment

Doug Nufer said...

Around that time, I was a judge in a malt liquor tasting put on by Wm. Steven Humphrey at the Stranger office. Blammo the Clown, a brewer from 6 Arms, and I (a wine shop co-owner) tasted a flight of 40-ouncers. We happened to pick the Schlitz, which also happened to win top prize for malt liquor at the national brewery competition in Colorado that year. Look out for the bull.

Posted May 1, 2020 04:09 PM | Reply to this comment

PtH said...

in the lobby of a Howard Johnson's wearing a pink carnation.

Posted May 1, 2020 05:04 PM | Reply to this comment

Alistair. said...

I was working as a bike messenger in Washington D.C, simultaneously the best and worst job I've ever had. This was before "messenger chic" and fixed gear bikes had been appropriated by the bike industry, and sold as the the next cool thing.

Posted May 1, 2020 09:00 PM | Reply to this comment

37 said...

Watching the trees grow in the woods.

Posted May 3, 2020 08:05 PM | Reply to this comment

pilder said...

I could use a few shrooms right about now and a 40 of Schlitz a bit later today. In 96 I was living on Capitol Hill doing odd jobs around the old apartment building in exchange for paying rent. I was also working 15 hours a week at Kids Co making jack shit per hour. I had very little money but very few expenses. Because his kid went to Kids Co I met Dick Cantwell and started frequenting the Elysian when it opened that year. I thought I wanted to continue working with kids and started the notion of graduate school. But I was still a year away from getting accepted to a one year masters program and getting a bike messenger job to keep me busy until classes started in September when I would eventually blow off grad school and continue working as a bike messenger on and off for the next 13 years.

Posted May 4, 2020 05:55 AM | Reply to this comment

. said...

early winter 96 to new year 97 there was a slight drizzle in southern oregon. down there for school, undergrad, all the gas station pumping jobs were full, slinging pizza paid some but the real money was made in selling plasma. specifically your own. in a room full of beds, side by side, fluorescent lights, with tiles patina'd in a curved mosaic off yellow brown, occupied with southern oregons most exotic examples of homosapien the area had to offer. theres nothing like cold rush of deplasma'd blood being pumped back into the body while listening to the hum of the machine. makes for a low bar tab later on as well.

Posted May 4, 2020 06:43 PM | Reply to this comment

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